Galena junior high students headed to nation’s capital

The U.S. Capitol. Source: USA Today.

The U.S. Capitol. Source: USA Today.

The U.S. Capitol. Source: USA Today.
The U.S. Capitol. Source: USA Today.

By PAUL HUNTINGTON, special to the Hawk Highlights
Paul is one of the students involved in the Close-Up program.

Hugo Black said, “Loyalty must arise spontaneously from the hearts of people who love their country and respect their government.” The Close-up program aims to teach students respect for their government by giving them access to it.

Close-up sends students to Washington DC to see the museums, monuments and historical government buildings. This will be an opportunity for middle school and high school kids to have a unique educational experience. For example, these kids will get the see the White House where the president lives and Hall of Congress, containing our constitution. Instead of just seeing a picture in a textbook at school, Close-up allows you to actually see the heart of the United States government. Long ago, students from Galena attended this program and the IDEA home school program has continued to send a group each year, but very few SHS students have gone in the last 10 years.

This is about to change. The SHS middle school classes are going to travel together to Washington DC the Close-up program on April 17th, 2016. It will be an expensive trip, requiring that the students gather donations and organize many fundraisers. However, it will be exciting and unifying to participate in a trip across the country together especially since about half of the students have yet been out of the state. Three students have been to Washington DC, but would like to go again, the share the memories with their friends. These students are all meeting after school to plan fundraisers and to study current events, politics and government in preparation for their trip.

Washington, D.C., is an iconic place where students can learn about being a citizen of this country. Learning about current events, such as wars and social problems, makes a person more responsible in their community and nation. This may encourage these students to become better leaders. These students might even grow up to be elected President – perhaps one of them will be the first Athabascan president of the United States of America.